Radical solutions required as Community and Voluntary Sector faces mass closures - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called for immediate action as nearly half of community and voluntary groups face closure or cutbacks in services as the insurance market failure continues to deepen.
Deputy Doherty has called for immediate actions to be taken to save a wave of community and business closures across the State.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“The recent survey by Public Participation Networks has cast a light on the depth of the insurance crisis in the voluntary and community centre. It is a stark warning of what is to come if immediate action is not taken.
“In the recent survey it was revealed that 83% of groups in the sector have faced high insurance premium hikes in the past 3 years, with a significant number seeing their premium costs more than double.
"Of these groups, 30% are now paying more than €1500 annually for insurance cover.
"As a result, groups across the State that run community centres, sports clubs and services for older people are facing imminent closure or a wind down in their operations.
"This damages communities, jobs and local economies, and represents a growing market failure in the market.
“The Government has failed to act with any sense of urgency.
“We want to see the immediate establishment of a Garda Insurance Fraud Unit equipped with financial specialists and detectives.
"We want the National Information Claims Database immediately extended to employer and public liability insurance.
"We want an immediate scoping exercise into direct Government intervention into the insurance market as we face the immediate threat of business closures State-wide.
“This week I received a letter from the EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager confirming that there is no barrier to the Irish Government investigating market failure in the insurance industry.
"We are facing one now, and it is time to act.”